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Genesis 31

31
Time to Leave—Jacob Runs Away
1One day Jacob heard Laban’s sons talking. They said, “Jacob has taken everything that our father owned. He has become rich—and he has taken all this wealth from our father.” 2Then Jacob noticed that Laban was not as friendly as he had been in the past. 3The Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to your own land where your ancestors lived. I will be with you.”
4So Jacob told Rachel and Leah to meet him in the field where he kept his flocks of sheep and goats. 5He said to them, “I have noticed that your father is not as friendly with me as he used to be. But the God of my father has been with me. 6You both know that I have worked as hard as I could for your father. 7But he cheated me. He has changed my pay ten times. But during all this time, God protected me from all of Laban’s tricks.
8“At one time Laban said, ‘You can keep all the goats with spots. This will be your pay.’ After he said this, all the animals gave birth to spotted goats, so they were all mine. But then Laban said, ‘I will keep the spotted goats. You can have all the striped goats. That will be your pay.’ After he said this, all the animals gave birth to striped goats. 9So God has taken the animals away from your father and has given them to me.
10“I had a dream during the time when the animals were mating. I saw that the only male goats that were mating were the ones with stripes and spots. 11The angel of God spoke to me in that dream. The angel said, ‘Jacob!’
“I answered, ‘Yes!’
12“The angel said, ‘Look, only the striped and spotted goats are mating. I am causing this to happen. I have seen all the wrong things Laban has been doing to you. I am doing this so that you can have all the new baby goats. 13I am the God who came to you at Bethel, and there you made an altar, poured olive oil on it, and made a promise to me. Now I want you to be ready to go back to the country where you were born.’”
14Rachel and Leah answered Jacob, “Our father has nothing to give us when he dies. 15He treated us like strangers. He sold us to you, and then he spent all the money that should have been ours. 16God took all this wealth from our father, and now it belongs to us and our children. So you should do whatever God told you to do.”
17So Jacob prepared for the trip. He put his children and his wives on camels. 18Then they began traveling back to the land of Canaan, where his father lived. All the flocks of animals that Jacob owned walked ahead of them. He carried everything with him that he had gotten while he lived in Paddan Aram.
19While Laban was gone to cut the wool from his sheep, Rachel went into his house and stole the false gods that belonged to her father.
20Jacob tricked Laban the Aramean. He did not tell Laban he was leaving. 21Jacob took his family and everything he owned and left quickly. They crossed the Euphrates River and traveled toward the hill country of Gilead.
22Three days later Laban learned that Jacob had run away. 23So he gathered his men together and began to chase Jacob. After seven days Laban found Jacob near the hill country of Gilead. 24That night God came to Laban in a dream and said, “Be careful! Be careful of every word you say to Jacob.”
The Search for the Stolen Gods
25The next morning Laban caught up with Jacob. Jacob had set up his camp on the mountain, so Laban and all his men set up their camp in the hill country of Gilead.
26Laban said to Jacob, “Why did you trick me? Why did you take my daughters like they were women you captured during war? 27Why did you run away without telling me? If you had told me, I would have given you a party. There would have been singing and dancing with music. 28You didn’t even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye. You were very foolish to do this! 29I have the power to really hurt you. But last night the God of your father came to me in a dream. He warned me not to hurt you in any way. 30I know that you want to go back to your home. That is why you left. But why did you steal the gods from my house?”
31Jacob answered, “I left without telling you, because I was afraid. I thought you would take your daughters away from me. 32But I did not steal your gods. If you find anyone here with me who has taken your gods, they will be killed. Your men will be my witnesses. You can look for anything that belongs to you. Take anything that is yours.” (Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen Laban’s gods.)
33So Laban went and looked through Jacob’s camp. He looked in Jacob’s tent and then in Leah’s tent. Then he looked in the tent where the two slave women stayed, but he did not find the gods from his house. Then he went into Rachel’s tent. 34Rachel had hidden the gods inside her camel’s saddle, and she was sitting on them. Laban looked through the whole tent, but he did not find the gods.
35And Rachel said to her father, “Father, don’t be angry with me. I am not able to stand up before you. I am having my monthly time of bleeding.” So Laban looked through the camp, but he did not find the gods from his house.
36Then Jacob became very angry and said, “What wrong have I done? What law have I broken? What right do you have to chase me and stop me? 37You looked through everything I own and found nothing that belongs to you. If you found something, show it to me. Put it here where our men can see it. Let our men decide which one of us is right. 38I have worked 20 years for you. During all that time none of the baby sheep and goats died during birth. And I have not eaten any of the rams from your flocks. 39Any time a sheep was killed by wild animals, I always paid for the loss myself. I did not take the dead animal to you and say that it was not my fault. But I was robbed day and night. 40In the daytime the sun took away my strength, and at night sleep was taken from my eyes by the cold. 41I worked 20 years like a slave for you. For the first 14 years I worked to win your two daughters. The last six years I worked to earn your animals. And during that time you changed my pay ten times. 42But the God of my ancestors, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac,#31:42 Fear of Isaac A name for God. was with me. If God had not been with me, you would have sent me away with nothing. But he saw the trouble that I had and the work that I did, and last night God proved that I am right.”
Jacob and Laban’s Treaty
43Laban said to Jacob, “These women are my daughters. These children belong to me, and these animals are mine. Everything you see here belongs to me, but I can do nothing to keep my daughters and their children. 44So I am ready to make an agreement with you. We will set up a pile of stones to show that we have an agreement.”
45So Jacob found a large rock and put it there to show that he had made an agreement. 46He told his men to find some more rocks and to make a pile of rocks. Then they ate beside the pile of rocks. 47Laban named that place Yegar Sahadutha.#31:47 Yegar Sahadutha Aramaic words meaning “rock pile of the agreement.” But Jacob named that place Galeed.#31:47 Galeed Another name for Gilead. This Hebrew name means “rock pile of the agreement.”
48Laban said to Jacob, “This pile of rocks will help us both remember our agreement.” That is why Jacob called the place Galeed.
49Then Laban said, “Let the Lord watch over us while we are separated from each other.” So that place was also named Mizpah.#31:49 Mizpah This means “a place to watch from.”
50Then Laban said, “If you hurt my daughters, remember that God will punish you. If you marry other women, remember that God is watching. 51Here are the rocks that I have put between us, and here is the special rock to show that we made an agreement. 52This pile of rocks and this one special rock both help us to remember our agreement. I will never go past these rocks to fight against you, and you must never go on my side of these rocks to fight against me. 53May the God of Abraham, the God of Nahor, and the God of their ancestors judge us guilty if we break this agreement.”
Jacob’s father, Isaac, called God “Fear.” So Jacob used that name to make the promise. 54Then Jacob killed an animal and offered it as a sacrifice on the mountain. And he invited his men to come and share a meal. After they finished eating, they spent the night on the mountain. 55Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters goodbye. He blessed them and went back home.
31
1Now he heard the words of Labans sonnes, saying, Iaakob hath taken away all that was our fathers, and of our fathers goods hath he gotten all this honour. 2Also Iaakob beheld the countenance of Laban, that it was not towards him as in times past: 3And the Lord had said vnto Iaakob, Turne againe into the lande of thy fathers, and to thy kinred, and I wilbe with thee. 4Therefore Iaakob sent and called Rahel and Leah to the fielde vnto his flocke. 5Then sayde hee vnto them, I see your fathers countenance, that it is not towardes me as it was wont, and the God of my father hath bene with me. 6And yee knowe that I haue serued your father with all my might. 7But your father hath deceiued me, and changed my wages tenne times: but God suffred him not to hurt me. 8If he thus sayd, The spotted shall be thy wages, then all the sheepe bare spotted: and if he sayd thus, the party coloured shalbe thy rewarde, then bare all the sheepe particoloured. 9Thus hath God taken away your fathers substance, and giuen it me. 10For in ramming time I lifted vp mine eyes and saw in a dreame, and beholde, ye hee goates leaped vpon the shee goates, that were partie coloured with litle and great spots spotted. 11And the Angel of God sayde to mee in a dreame, Iaakob. And I answered, Lo, I am here. 12And he sayde, Lift vp nowe thine eyes, and see all the hee goates leaping vpon ye shee goates that are partie coloured, spotted with litle and great spots: for I haue seene all that Laban doeth vnto thee. 13I am the God of Beth-el, where thou anoyntedst the pillar, where thou vowedst a vowe vnto me. Nowe arise, get thee out of this countrey and returne vnto ye land where thou wast borne. 14Then answered Rahel and Leah, and sayde vnto him, Haue wee any more porcion and inheritance in our fathers house? 15Doeth not he count vs as strangers? for he hath solde vs, and hath eaten vp and consumed our money. 16Therefore all the riches, which God hath taken from our father, is ours and our childrens: nowe then whatsoeuer God hath saide vnto thee, doe it. 17Then Iaakob rose vp, and set his sonnes and his wiues vpon camels. 18And he caried away all his flockes, and al his substance which he had gotten, to wit, his riches, which he had gotten in Padan Aram, to goe to Izhak his father vnto the land of Canaan. 19Whe Laban was gone to shere his sheepe, Then Rahel stole her fathers idoles. 20Thus Iaakob stole away ye heart of Laban the Aramite: for he told him not that he fled. 21So fled he with all that he had, and he rose vp, and passed the riuer, and set his face towarde mount Gilead. 22And the third day after was it told Laban, that Iaakob fled. 23Then he tooke his brethren with him, and followed after him seuen dayes iourney, and ouertooke him at mount Gilead. 24And God came to Laban the Aramite in a dreame by night, and sayde vnto him, Take heede that thou speake not to Iaakob ought saue good. 25Then Laban ouertooke Iaakob, and Iaakob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban also with his brethren pitched vpon mount Gilead. 26Then Laban sayde to Iaakob, What hast thou done? thou hast euen stolen away mine heart and caried away my daughters as though they had bene taken captiues with the sworde. 27Wherfore diddest thou flie so secretly and steale away from me, and diddest not tel me, that I might haue sent thee foorth with mirth and with songs, with timbrel and with harpe? 28But thou hast not suffered me to kisse my sonnes and my daughters: nowe thou hast done foolishly in doing so. 29I am able to do you euill: but the God of your father spake vnto me yesternight, saying, Take heed that thou speake not to Iaakob ought saue good. 30Nowe though thou wentest thy way, because thou greatly longedst after thy fathers house, yet wherefore hast thou stollen my gods? 31Then Iaakob answered, and said to Laban, Because I was afraid, and thought that thou wouldest haue taken thy daughters from me. 32But with whome thou findest thy gods, let him not liue. Search thou before our brethre what I haue of thine, and take it to thee, (but Iaakob wist not that Rahel had stolen them) 33Then came Laban into Iaakobs tent, and into Leahs tent, and into the two maides tentes, but founde them not. So hee went out of Leahs tent, and entred into Rahels tent. 34(Nowe Rahel had taken the idoles, and put them in the camels litter and sate downe vpon them) and Laban searched al the tent, but found them not. 35Then said she to her father, My Lord, be not angrie that I cannot rise vp before thee: for the custome of women is vpon me: so he searched, but found not the idoles. 36The Iaakob was wroth, and chode with Laban: Iaakob also answered and sayd to Laban, What haue I trespassed? what haue I offended, that thou hast pursued after me? 37Seeing thou hast searched all my stuffe, what hast thou foud of all thine houshold stuffe? put it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may iudge betweene vs both. 38This twenty yere I haue bin with thee: thine ewes and thy goates haue not cast their yong, and the rammes of thy flocke haue I not eaten. 39Whatsoeuer was torne of beasts, I brought it not vnto thee, but made it good my selfe: of mine hand diddest thou require it, were it stollen by day or stollen by night. 40I was in the day consumed with heate, and with frost in the night, and my sleepe departed from mine eyes. 41Thus haue I bene twentie yeere in thine house, and serued thee fourteene yeeres for thy two daughters, and sixe yeeres for thy sheepe, and thou hast changed my wages tenne times. 42Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the feare of Izhak had bene with me, surely thou haddest sent me away nowe emptie: but God behelde my tribulation, and the labour of mine hads, and rebuked thee yester night. 43Then Laban answered, and saide vnto Iaakob, These daughters are my daughters, and these sonnes are my sonnes, and these sheepe are my sheepe, and all that thou seest, is mine, and what can I doe this day vnto these my daughters, or to their sonnes which they haue borne? 44Nowe therefore come and let vs make a couenant, I and thou, which may be a witnes betweene me and thee. 45Then tooke Iaakob a stone, and set it vp as a pillar: 46And Iaakob sayde vnto his brethren, Gather stones: who brought stones, and made an heape, and they did eate there vpon the heape. 47And Laban called it Iegar-sahadutha, and Iaakob called it Galeed. 48For Laban sayd, This heape is witnesse betweene me and thee this day: therefore he called the name of it Galeed. 49Also he called it Mizpah, because he said, The Lord looke betweene me and thee, when we shalbe departed one from another, 50If thou shalt vexe my daughters, or shalt take wiues beside my daughters: there is no man with vs, beholde, God is witnesse betweene me and thee. 51Moreouer Laban sayd to Iaakob, Beholde this heape, and behold the pillar, which I haue set betweene me and thee, 52This heape shall be witnesse, and the pillar shall be witnesse, that I will not come ouer this heape to thee, and that thou shalt not passe ouer this heape and this pillar vnto me for euill. 53The God of Abraham, and the God of Nabor, and the God of their father be iudge betweene vs: But Iaakob sware by the feare of his father Izhak. 54Then Iaakob did offer a sacrifice vpon the mount, and called his brethren to eate bread. and they did eate bread, and taried all night in the mount. 55And earely in the morning Laban rose vp and kissed his sonnes and his daughters, and blessed them, and Laban departing, went vnto his place againe.